Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Build a New Society

Movements continue to arise to confront the absurdities emanating from capitalism, with all its damaging consequences. If all these campaigns fail to link up into a generalised struggle against capitalism then their failures will far outweigh their successes. As corporations become larger, they seek out markets and cheap labour and resources in every corner of the world. Governments try to help out local capitalists by prying open foreign economies. In their endless search for greater profits, human needs, the environment and basic services are all treated as barriers to profits which must be removed. The pressure for change will not abate but this, does not mean that the inspiration behind this pressure will necessarily always be progressive. Some of it, even much of it, if recent experience is any guide, will in some countries be reactionary, racist, xenophobic, and steeped in the worst kind of religious sectarianism. Socialism must seek to distinguish itself today by having a better recipe. In countries where capitalist democracy prevails, socialists will advance their cause within the existing constitutional process, by means of a combination of electoral and extra-parliamentary activism. Socialists will express their aims as the creation of truly democratic and egalitarian societies which cannot be realised without the dissolution of the existing structures of privilege and the transfer of economic power from private hands into public ownership (but not state/government ownership.)

We are living under a system which is more and more clearly revealed as the enemy of humanity. It has vast productive potential, but produces only poverty for the majority. It brings hunger and starvation. It imposes draconian cuts in living standards on the already poor, simply in the interest of still greater profits for the capitalist class. Capitalism is responsible for the thoughtless destruction of the environment. Its armaments industry monopolises most of the world’s research and development and cynically profits from a series of wars of unparalleled destructiveness. The root cause of all this is capitalism’s guiding principle, the quest for profit, which takes precedence over any human interest. Capitalism threatens the future of humanity. Capitalism brings nothing but misery and exploitation to people of all lands. From the standpoint of the vast majority of the world’s people it is already an obsolete system, and the productive forces and technology it has created needs to be turned to the benefit of humanity as a whole under a new social system. Capitalism cannot be reformed. It has undergone many changes in its history, but these have simply meant finding new ways to exploit the people. The only solution is to destroy it and build a new social system. Today the destructive threat of capitalism is so acute that humanity cannot afford the luxury of a lengthy process of experimentation on the road to socialism. This means that we have to be very serious in learning from the movement’s past mistakes. Socialism was often erroneously seen as economic growth minus capitalist crises, and state ownership was seen as a definition of socialism rather than seeing socialism as a different way of organising daily life. The Labour Party has always been an instrument of capitalist rule over the working class.

The profit motive is incompatible with safeguarding the world’s resources. So long as it is profitable, environmental destruction is perfectly 'logical' under capitalism. Humanity’s problem is not limited resources but the waste of resources which is an essential part of the process of capital accumulation. The environmentalist movement has been valuable in highlighting and researching many of these specific problems. The movement is a diverse one with some Green Parties integrated into the system but there are many groupings which rely on their own strengths and local or international mass action, advancing the view that sustainable life systems living in harmony with nature are a real alternative to the exploitative system. This trend is positive. Socialism will provide the opportunity for a society planned for the majority rather than for the profit of a minority. By taking environmental issues seriously we can realistically plan to build a society in tune with land and nature. Worldwide, an upsurge of socialism is bound to come. It is more and more apparent that profit is a crazy way  by which to organise the world’s resources.

Marx and Engels explained that only the working class could be the force bringing about the necessary revolutionary transformation of society. We must be under no illusion about the difficulty of overthrowing capitalism. Our vision is of a party which does not claim a monopoly of correct ideas but which brings together those who agree upon a common objective - the task is to abolish capitalism and bring about a socialist society. We lay down no blueprint except for some general context on how this will be achieved because the socialist society of the future will draw its strength from the new organisational forms thrown up in the course of its struggles. Democracy is not something invented by the bourgeoisie, its roots go back to the earliest struggles of working people against the ruling class. The new society of the future will carry this to fruition. Socialism can only be realised by pooling the ideas and concrete experiences of workers the world over and in the coming period our duty is to build links between forces committed to socialism, to share experience and support one another to lay the foundations for a new society!

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